How would you describe 2020? For many it was a difficult year. For some, it was difficult for reasons beyond the pandemic. Early in the year I decided to read a few biographies. I am not sure what I was expecting; however, they were a pleasant source of peace during a year filled with health concerns and political turmoil.
Biographies have a way of showing how people overcome unbelievable trials and tribulations. They show how the impossible become possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. They display the tenacity of reaching people with the Gospel, so that they might hear about His wonderful grace.
Many of the biographies I read are those who are taking Christianity to people who have never heard of Jesus. We are so comfortable in our worldview that has been shaped by Judaeo-Christian values that we have forgotten what it is like to not have the effects of Christ in everyday life. Many of these cultures that missionaries are stepping into are opposite of Christianity. They value deception, revenge, and death. It is a subtle reminder in the power of the Gospel and the affect it has on a culture.
Below are five of my favorite biographies:
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
By Eric Metaxas
I was first introduced to Dietrich Bonhoeffer in college through his book Life Together and The Cost of Discipleship. The book covers the German society in response to the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler’s rise to power, the interaction between the state and the church, and the growth of Christ in Bonhoeffer’s life. Here is a man who lived out his convictions.
The Hiding Place
By Corrie Ten Boom
Corrie Ten Boom recounts the time she and her sister (Betsie) were captured and imprisoned in the concentration camps of WWII. She recounts how she learned forgiveness, peace, and trust. It is an incredible testimony of how Jesus sustains his people.
Link: The Hiding Place
Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret
By Howard Taylor
Hudson Taylor left everything to take the Gospel to China. He began the China Inland Mission in 1866. This book chronicles the failures and success that Taylor experienced. However exciting the events took place, the major theme of this book is that God is a good, good father to his children. He will never abandon them or forsake them.
By Brother Andrew
Brother Andrews began smuggling Bibles behind the Iron Curtain in 1955. Brother Andrew is an example of allowing God to truly lead someone’s life – pray, listen, obey. This is a life changing book that shows that God’s people can depend on Him. Brother Andrew’s work continues today through Open Doors Ministry.
Link: God’s Smuggler
By Don Richardson
Don Richardson tells the events that took place and how he brought the Gospel to the Sawi People of Netherlands New Guinea. Richardson’s experience shows how the Gospel confronts the evil of man’s heart: revenge, murder, and cannibalism. Don and his wife, Carol, risked everything to take the Gospel message to those who have never heard the Good News.
Link: Peace Child
Have you read any of these? What is your favorite biography?